29 June 2013

Man of Steel

Why make another Superman I hear you say, I shall tell you why...because this is what Superman is all about. Henry Cavill, a fairly unknown actor from Jersey known for mainly 'The Tudors' (2010) and 'Immortals' (2011) has certainly made himself a Hollywood star with this one. This much darker, serious and sinister approach to the 'Man of Steel' is brought to us by Zack Synder (300/ Watchman) and Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight trilogy/ Inception) who both equally add something memorable to this well known story. With these two on board you know what type of film your getting; you know that Superman is going to be more mysterious than ever and you will find yourself constantly asking questions about this new and improved superhero. Alongside Superman we have Russell Crowe as Jor-El  and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, bringing a competent performance to the all American gal (is it me or do you imagine Lois as a brunette? Not sure if the red head really worked for me). Having said that their chemistry on screen is as fiery as ever with a few passionate hugs and kisses.

Usually we would see Clark face his mortal enemy Lex Luthur but here we have him face General Zod which of course we have seen in previous episodes; here played by Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, 2010) delivering a perform full of wrath and as ever the good guy defeats him but hey guys this is a Superhero film! We also get to see Krypton at large in this instalment of Clark Kent. The first thirty minutes of this film will blow your mind with special effects and graphics you see on this planet before it implodes.  Aside from praising the effects which are truly ground breaking apace with the 3D (and I'm usually a 2D girl!) I think the whole build up the writers developed to the declaration of Kal-El finding out who he really is, belly flops with a few simple lines where he tells his mother (Martha Kent) and she simply accepts it, not really giving any advice at all (think my mum would have a bit more to say about it!). Nonetheless, the back story we get is very detailed and we dive ever deeper into the past of the 'Man of Steel'. We see how difficult his life had been hiding from who he really is and why he needs to find out the answers to all his questions. Certainly we have seen a twist on the background through the eyes of, 'Smallville' that takes a look at Supermans early years, albeit here we have perfectly timed flashbacks and recalls that enable the audience to understand why Clark is the man he is. So I do suppose I shouldn't object too much as we get the Man of Steel on our planet to ultimately save it (again) by turning himself in and risk rejection from the entire human race. This is Clark Kent after all and he is destined to save the world - minus the red panties I may add, which some hard core fans might not like, but in my opinion this gives Superman a more sophisticated and re-established look in the comic book world. It almost makes Superman look cool again! I digress, enough about how defined Henry Cavill looks in his new get up (biceps all around), the writers David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan have really pulled out all the stops on this one. The emotion created on screen by actors, writers and Hans Zimmers beautifully composed soundtrack is both strong and chilling, evoking lots of feelings for the guys on screen.

Many have verbalised that there is too much fighting and falling through windows and buildings, but hello (viewers and critics alike), this is a superhero film and I think if Nolan can put his name to this then it has to be taken as superhero fighting and nothing too outrageous. There is going to be copious amounts of smashed glass, buildings being obliterated and a serious amount of clean up to do after the punch ups. One fight scene was maybe dragged out a tad longer than it should be have been, all just to end in one simple move of the crack of a neck - but oh how human of our superman instead of using all those fancy powers he has acquired while on earth. Nice touch though, definitely. Consequently, everything in this film all collaborate to create an audio visual explosion that will keep you captivated throughout and keep you routing for the Man of Steel from start to finish. Take it from me, if you like the man in the red cape you wont be complaining. Also watch out for the Lexcorp and Wayne Enterprise logos - very clever DC very clever.    

Directed by - Zach Snyder
143mins, 12A (2013)

24 June 2013

Banshee (TV Series One)

So what happens when you take a man out of jail, he hunts down the woman he loves, accidentally kills the towns new sheriff (in the first episode - oops!) and then conveniently gets away with pretending to be the new sheriff in town. Well 'Banshee' happens. From the producers of the popular vampire series 'True Blood' (Alan Ball & Peter Macdissi) 'Banshee' follows suit with violence, lots of sex and oh strange people in a strange town. After watching the first episode I was hooked. Not because of the amazing script or plot line (sorry writers) but the character development when they aren't ripping each others clothes off, is very believable. We see people hiding their true identity to cover up the past and getting away with fabricating completely new lives for themselves. Wouldn't you like to go to a town in the middle of nowhere and play sheriff for a bit? To take on the role of the new sheriff (Lucas Hood) is actor Anthony Starr (Rush & Lowdown) who delivers a beautifully damaged and fragile guy to our screens (nice eyes too) but boy he isn't putting up with any crap anytime soon. The love of his life Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic - Vanilla Sky & Vegas) who also happens to be the woman he went to jail over, equally brings a solid performance when trying to conceal her true identity from her new family and friends.

Minus all the nasty things that happen in this little town, I think it could be fun playing sheriff providing you don't get caught! I think the only thing I will say is that some of the plot lines are a bit unbelievable. For example a 20 minute long fight scene between and a man and a woman that is ridiculously brutal, unless this woman has supernatural strength the writers forgot to tell the audience about I think she wouldn't last 5 minutes against this guy. Other than the remarkable escape artists the majority of the characters seem to be, I will praise the slick edit and quirky feel this series embodies. Flashbacks, flash forwards and flawless parallel edits all add to a visually stimulating, exciting experience for the viewer.

'Banshee' is a fast paced, comical, sad, arkward and sexy TV series. Watch out for the steamy sex scenes - fantasically gory fights and beware of scenes that will make squirm and force you to look away (ok maybe I should give the writers some credit). Catch 'Banshee' on a Monday night from 10pm on Sky Atlantic - you won't be disappointed.  

Directed by various people
60mins, 18 (2013)

20 June 2013

The Bourne Legacy

One of the biggest secret agent franchises has hit the screen again. The Bourne Legacy (2012) has got a new man in the limelight - no one other than Hawkeye, I mean Jeremy Renner. The sequel follows almost the same time line as The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) but looks more closely at Treadstone and how they operate. Well if you call killing off all your undercover agents operating across the globe then Treadstone is the place for you! When reading the back of the DVD and other reviews I thought yeah, great give me a bigger incite into Treadstone; however it never really got there - the plot was virtually unfulfilled. Maybe that's a bit harsh but the crux of the story is that Aaron Cross (Renner) escapes the traps of the agency and oh gets the girl out of it (Rachel Weisz). Fans will be disappointed if they expected it to be as thrilling as the first trilogy but if you like car chases you won't be (perhaps fast and the furious would be a better option). A standard action flick nevertheless, I just wish it gave us a few more pointers and answered a few more questions. Judge for yourselves guys but probably not one I'll be popping in the DVD player anytime soon.

Directed by - Tony Gilroy
135mins, 12A (2012)

17 June 2013

The Great Gatsby

‘Gatsby? What Gatsby?’ Utters the meek, prim and proper Daisy Buchanan played by Carey Mulligan in the latest instalment from the Australian director Baz Lurhmann; ‘The Great Gatsby’. After appearing in Tarantino’s controversial ‘Django’ earlier this year Leonardo DiCaprio returns to our screens playing the part of the very wealthy, handsome Mr. Gatsby and delivers (as usual) a spectacular performance – although with the occasional slip in accent but I think we can let this one slide - ‘Old Sport’. Acting alongside DiCaprio we have a return from the former Spiderman – Toby Maguire (Nick Carraway), who arguably has more screen time brings a versatile performance to his character battling with chronic alcoholism, anxiety and depression after he gets taken under Gatsby’s wing (let’s hope his spidey powers will save him now). Right, let’s get one thing straight - trying to stretch a 180 page novella into a 2 and a half hour motion picture has proved trying. In certain scenes you will long for the stylish, entertaining party scenes that take your breath away with all their grandeur instead of sitting through what seems to be general chit chat between irrelevant people. Having said that, the majority of what is on screen will seduce you enough to keep you anticipating the inevitable downfall of these corrupted characters.

Amongst these troubled, unhappy characters we also have appearances from Isla Fisher, Joel Edgerton and Jason Clarke, who all bring the characters from F. Scott Fitzgerald novel alive on screen, bursting with every emotion imaginable. So here we are in the roaring twenty’s. Prohibition at large, the white/ black divide still present, the newly booming industrial revolution polluting the air but the one thing that keeps going is the music. The music never stops. Many viewers will find the soundtrack intruding and out of place alongside the 20’s image but with the likes of Jay-Z, Florence and the Machine, Nero and Beyonce, this juxtaposition works flawlessly with the jazzy, big band feel the sound department has given these modern tracks. With the lavish and luxurious sets Lurhmann virtually plays homage to himself, evoking our thoughts back to his 1996 Romeo and Juliet’s fantastically choreographed party scenes and of course the most recent Moulin Rouge 2001 which undoubtedly is a theatrical performance, from start to finish. The direction does not shy away from this in Gatsby either. With every step, every moment being executed with perfect timing from the opening of windows to dance routines to the synchronised crossing of legs, all add to the visually stimulating cinematic experience of this film. Gatsby is thriving with parties, cocktails, violence, lying, sex and music. I certainly wanted to go to a house party hosted by the one and only Gatsby and listen to the soundtrack all night, but being careful not to piss him off!    

If you’re a Baz Lurhmann fan, like a get the girl plot or just going along to see how it compares to the 1974 adaptation (Mia Farrow and Robert Redford) then grab a ticket and be taken in by the perfectly damaged image of what love, obsession and lust can do to anyone of us.

Directed by - Baz Lurhmann
142mins, 12A (2013)

10 June 2013


Compliance is certainly not a film for all the family. This indie flick will shock you, make you uncomfortable, force you to look away and after viewing such a film the harsh reality will dawn on you - yes, this is based on true events. These horrific events are reconstructed by Craig Zobel, a fairly un-known director taking what I think is quite a risk with a such a subject matter. So have you ever heard of the strip search prank call scam? No? Well nor had I until I took a seat in the very quaint Covent Garden Odeon. Take it from me, I'm glad I didn't know this sort of thing happened before I sat down. Okay, so we are in a fast food joint in Kentucky and the manager (Sandra) is having a bad afternoon, then she receives a phone call from Officer Daniels and boy does her day just get better and better. Daniels claims to have evidence that one of her employees has stolen from a customer and that she needs to be questioned about the missing money - little did Sandra know that she would be conducting the investigation herself against Becky (the accused) due to the officer persuading her to conduct the strip search there would save time and be a great help for the police force. I am pretty confident that if someone asked me to perform a strip search on someone I would out right refuse (slam the phone down), however statistically it shows that a lot of people fell for this scam. There were over 70 cases reported in 30 U.S. states, all in fast - food restaurants until 2004 in Mount Washington Kentucky (inspiring this plot) led to an arrest. After I finished watching this horrific event unfold in front of me I had to look up the stats behind it as soon as I got out (good old smart phones!) and I wish I hadn't. So just because a policeman tells you to strip search someone you do it? Just because he says he is a policeman do you make someone do jumping-jacks completely starkers, leave them in a room with only men as the officer informs you it needs to be a man for security reasons and then leave your own partner alone with this naked girl for the officer to completely manipulate into molesting, raping and shaming the accused (and yep, she is innocent) - Sandra does. I know what your thinking - Why didn't she just hang up the phone but the Milgram Experiments (1963) will tell you why. This tested obedience to authority and that IF someone of authority was ordering you to do something, you would do it. Really scary stuff to be honest.

Anyway, this is fantastically awkwardly acted by the likes of Ann Drowd, Dreama Walker and Pat Healy, all bringing aspects to this film that make it horrifying and disturbing albeit I still couldn't look away. If you want to be hypnotised verbally and don't mind watching some pretty controversial stuff then take a look and test yourself. I promise buy the end of it you will be shouting at the screen telling Sandra to put the phone down and tell Officer Daniels to get off his arse and get down their himself to sort it out!! 3 out of 5 I'd say.

Directed by - Craig Zobel
90mins, 15 (2012)

5 June 2013

Star Trek - Into Darkness

Well, someone certainly set my seat to stun! Star Trek – Into Darkness really is a fast-paced, alien love fuelled journey that will keep you interested and yearning for more (of Chris Pines blue eyes that is). As a science fiction fan myself (not a trekkie i'd like to add) I maybe a little bias, however this has something for everyone. Chris Pines good looks along with Zoe Saldana for the boys to oggle over, Simon Pegg’s comedic timing and Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainy all connect on screen, giving the audience exactly what they want – an action film with serious undertones, some laughs and certainly some cries. If you are a die hard Star Trek fan then this is right up your street. We are back on the Starship Enterprise, with the return of all your favourites from the first film – including Zachary Quinto’s brilliant delivery of the emotionless half human, half Vulcan alien that he is – Spock (but to everyone’s surprise even Vulcan’s cry!). With characters and alien species from the 1960’s series making an appearance, the classic phasers and red shirt appearances will have you laughing in your seats – especially when a fluffy tribble an extinct alien species much like over weight guinea pigs (but very cute) comes back to life making a noise much similar to a mogwai (hate to admit it but think that was my favourite scene). Fluffy alien’s aside, writer J.J. Abrams has done it yet again. This script is quirky, sexy and clever, leaving you hanging on after every scene to see if they can hunt out the rat who sold them out in no other than their own organisation. Without giving anything away, part of me wanted the writers to embrace Kirk's inevitable downfall (well – he should have played by the rules shouldn’t he? But we all like a bad boy) nevertheless here we have the classic Hollywood ending where everyone lives happily ever after in space and defeat the bad alien (s). Ok maybe not that classic then. 

Definitely worth a watch, even if you don't buy into the multimillion selling geeky, nerdy, trekkie – Star Trek. Thumbs up for the action filled alien plot.      

Directed by - J.J. Abrams
131m 58s, 12A (2013)

Welcome to Cinelanguage

Firstly, thanks for visiting my blog!

I am very new to blogging and do apologise for the very basic layout but shall become more adventurous as time goes on...I promise! So, I started this up to share some film reviews and just general comments about cinema and tv. Hear me rant about the latest realeases to silent cinema and back - that is if you want to.

Anyway, let's keep it short and feel free to clog up the comment boxes :)